Schools across the country take advantage of Bikeability Scotland training

27 October 2022    

As the percentage of Scotland’s primary schools offering on-road cycle training has increased to 50%, the remaining schools across the country are urged to follow their lead and take advantage of free cycling training for pupils.

Bikeability Scotland is the national cycle training programme for school children, equipping them with the skills and confidence to make everyday trips by bike. Funded by Cycling Scotland through grant funding from Transport Scotland, the programme is free for pupils, with a record 50% of primary schools across the country delivering the training over the last year.

In the 2021-22 academic session, a record of more than 52,000 children received Bikeability Scotland cycle training, developing key life skills. Among the benefits seen by pupils and their parents are improved hazard awareness, confidence, and eagerness to cycle more after the training. For schools, the training is an effective and fully funded way of delivering Curriculum for Excellence outcomes, offering outdoor learning opportunities and supporting attainment.

Surveys have found that 65% of children were more confident cycling after Bikeability Scotland training and 82% of parents were more in favour of letting their children cycle as a result. Additionally, research has shown that children who participate in Bikeability Level 2 on-road training score significantly higher on hazard perception than children who have not received training.

With varying levels of access to bikes and experience of cycling at an early age across local authority areas, the training is even more valuable as a means of offering children a gateway to cycling, as well as promoting road safety awareness and active lifestyles.

David Collins, Bikeability Scotland Manager, said:

“Every schoolchild should have the opportunity to benefit from Bikeability Scotland training and so we’re calling on teachers across Scotland to contact their local coordinator to say they’d like to replicate what is being achieved elsewhere and deliver it in their own school.

“We’ve made the process of accessing the free training for instructors as easy as possible. All materials including pupils’ guides, certificates, badges and information for parents are provided. Even bikes can be supplied for the training period.

“We’d love to see more schools in Scotland take advantage of this free training programme, as our experience shows us that children and their parents come away feeling motivated with their newfound skills and confidence.”

Mrs Rice, Headteacher at St Marnock’s Primary School in Glasgow said:

“This cycle training is making such a difference for children at our school, providing them with important life skills and opening up new opportunities. It’s helped grow their confidence in using a bike as an independent means of travel, especially for children who had spent little time on bikes before. The training is something every child should have access to, and I’d encourage all headteachers to take up this opportunity to see the benefits it can bring to children at your own school.

“The council’s road safety team have been a great support to school staff with lots of advice and guidance and handy hints of how to influence the children on the benefits of new cycling skills.

“It was such an easy process to get the training up and running and the children have loved it. We intend to offer this every year as the response from the children and parents has been so positive.”

Mr Anderson, Principal Teacher at Bantaskin Primary School in Falkirk said:

“I’m very proud to see the progress the children have made and especially how the on-road training has developed their confidence and attitudes to cycling and road safety.

“We are committed to promoting the benefits of Active Travel and have invested in our cycling infrastructure over the last few years by adding a fleet of bikes and helmets and providing Bikeability Instructor training for our staff. It has been also of great benefit to have the support of our local training coordinator and Cycling Scotland to lead this training which has made such a positive difference to the children at our school.

“We look forward to delivering Bikeability Level 1 and 2 cycle training every year, and I would encourage every school to do as we have and to speak with their local training coordinator about arranging similar training.”                 

Mr Walker, Class Teacher at Denend Primary School in Fife said:

“It’s been great having the Bikeability Team support the delivery of this on-road training for our pupils. It was such an easy process and the children have loved it. They’ve been greatly looking forward to the training itself, but the real benefit is the range of skills they take forward into later life.

“We intend to offer this cycle training every year going forward so all our primary six children are equipped with the right knowledge and confidence to take advantage of the benefits cycling has to offer.”

Schools interested in delivering Bikeability Scotland training are encouraged to contact their local coordinator now to begin arranging training sessions in spring. For further information and contact details for your local coordinator, please visit the Bikeability Scotland website.